York County Coroner IDs the 3 construction workers killed; CriLon Corp mourns loss

Three construction workers were killed early Wednesday morning in a crash on Interstate 83 in northern York County, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

The victims have been identified as Jesse McKenzie, 24, of Somerset, Pa.; Robert Hampe, 42, of Meyersdale, Pa.; and Philson Hinebaugh III, 24, of Johnstown, Pa., according to the York County Coroner's Office.

Autopsies showed that McKenzie and Hampe died of multiple blunt force trauma. Hinebaugh perished from blunt force injuries. The manner of death is accidental for all three victims, the coroner's office said.

The men worked for CriLon Corp of Somerset, Pa. The company issued a statement, saying the it has been devastated by the tragedy and has asked the public to lift up the families with their thoughts and prayers, according to CBS 21.

"The loss of these hardworking young men will be felt forever by the families, CriLon Corp, and the entire community," the statement says.

Box truck struck the construction workers in work zone

State police say the crash happened around 3:25 a.m. Wednesday in an active work zone at mile marker 35.5 in Fairview Township.

State police say 24-year-old Reed Davenport was driving a large box truck when it collided with a construction vehicle in the work zone. The box truck continued onto the shoulder and struck three construction workers.

All three construction workers died at the scene, a news release states.

The coroner's office described the construction vehicle that was struck as a crash truck that was directing motorists with a flashing arrow to move into the left lane.

The York County Coroner's Office, a state police forensics unit and a collision analysis and reconstruction unit responded to the scene to help with the investigation.

The deaths happened during National Work Zone Safety Week

The construction crew was sealing cracks on the highway when the crash happened, said PennDOT spokesman Dave Thompson. The project, which started this week, involves night work on I-83 and Route 30.

This week marks National Work Zone Safety Week, which is intended to highlight the importance of safe driving through work zones, according to a news release.

Last year, the state reported 22 fatalities in work zone crashes. It was an increase over the 14 deaths recorded the previous year, PennDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Kuntch said.

In the past 10 years, the highest number of work zone fatalities — 24 — were recorded in 2014, she said. Twenty-three deaths were reported in 2015 and 2018.

CriLon Corp said in its statement: "This tragedy re-emphasizes the need for the motoring public to be extra vigilant, avoid distracted driving and obey all posted signs at highway construction sites."

PennDOT issued the following statement about the fatal I-83 crash:

"PennDOT is deeply saddened by the news of the workers who lost their lives in the work zone crash on Interstate 83 in York County. These workers left their homes fully expecting to return safely at the end of their shift. Our hearts go out to them, their families and everyone impacted by this horrible tragedy. This is National Work Zone Safety Week, and this incident drives home the fact that motorists need to be alert and drive with caution in our work zones for the safety of our workers and themselves."

GoFundMe started for one of the victims

Stacy Hay, the mother of 24-year-old Jesse McKenzie, spoke to a Johnstown television station, saying he has two children and was engaged to be married, according to CBS21.

The family has started a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral costs and for his two children.

Traffic stopped looking northbound at Exit 35 on Interstate 83 at 6:50 a.m. on April 17, 2024.
Traffic stopped looking northbound at Exit 35 on Interstate 83 at 6:50 a.m. on April 17, 2024.

I-83 South was closed for hours because of the crash

I-83 South was closed at the Fishing Creek interchange (Exit 26) after the crash, York County Emergency Management said. Traffic also was heavy on the northbound side of the highway.

The highway reopened later in the day.

Pennsylvania State Police say more information will be released when it becomes available.

Check back as this is a breaking story.

This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: 3 construction workers killed in I-83 crash in York County, Pa. identified